How To Get A Woman Pregnant
This article was co-authored by Jennifer Butt, MD and by wikiHow staff writer, Amy Bobinger. Jennifer Butt, MD, is a board certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist operating her private practice, Upper East Side OB/GYN, in New York City, New York. She is affiliated with Lenox Hill Hospital. She earned a BA in Biological Studies from Rutgers University and an MD from Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. She then completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. Dr. Butt is board certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. She is a Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and a member of the American Medical Association.There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 3,614,087 times.
If you and your partner want to get pregnant, you might be wondering what you can do to help. While most methods of improving fertility tend to focus on tracking a woman’s cycle, as a man, you can take steps that may improve your sperm count. There’s no way to guarantee that you and your partner will conceive, but there are things you can do to increase the odds!
Implement Stress Management Techniques
Many people mistakenly ignore the psychological impact of infertility on reproductive function. This is fairly understandable given the research is fairly anecdotal still, and most people have become accustomed to stressful lifestyles where were pushed to our limits all the time.
But if youve ever felt anxious after a strong cup of coffee, or depressed after a boozey night, then youll have an appreciation for the link between our emotional state and our hormones. Our physiology affects our mental state, and our mental state affects our physiology with the link of course being our hormones.
While coping with stress is important for anyones good health, its particularly important that women with PCOS take care of their emotional wellbeing. Especially if you are trying to get pregnant.
Studies have shown that women with PCOS have elevated levels of the hormone cortisol when subjected to stressful situations . Not only does this reduce our capacity to cope with stress well, but it also causes fat to accumulate on our stomachs and thighs, promotes insulin resistance, and markedly increases our probability of suffering from heart disease .
The interventions that I have always found most useful when trying to conceive include cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness meditation, and the practice of self-compassion. Relaxation exercises are also fantastic for acute stress and insomnia, and certain essential oils can be a great help too.
Guidelines For Timing Intercourse
Here are some guidelines for when and how often to have sexual intercourse:
- Having sex at least twice a week increases the probability of pregnancy
- Having sex only once a week drops the likelihood of getting pregnant by 15 percent from the average
- Long periods of abstinence can decrease the quality of the mans sperm, which impacts male fertility
- The optimal time for intercourse is just prior to a womans ovulation after ovulation pregnancy is less likely to occur
- A woman should understand when she might ovulate, which is explained below having sex every day or two during a womans mid cycle results in the best chance of conception
- The more you have sex, the more likely you are to have it during the prime fertility window
Struggling to get pregnant? Make an appointment with one of our reproductive endocrinologists.
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How Long Should You Keep Sperm Inside To Get Pregnant
“When a man ejaculates, sperm swims out, goes directly into the cervical mucus and into the fallopian tubes,” says Serena Chen, M.D., director of the division of reproductive endocrine and infertility at the Institute for Reproductive Medicine and Science at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Pennsylvania. “This happens in a matter of seconds, regardless of the position during intercourse.”
Some women think that lying on your back with your hips elevated for 20 minutes after sex will help ensure that every last sperm gets a fighting chance at the prize, but the belief has no scientific foundation. Definitely take the excuse to relax after TTC sex, but if you’re short on time, you don’t need to “wait” for sperm to make its way inside.
How Is Infertility Defined
Infertility is defined as the inability to become pregnant after one year of unprotected sex for women under 35 and six months for women 35 and older.
The vast majority of people will become pregnant within the first 12 months of trying to conceive with regular unprotected intercourse, says Cross. After six months to a year of trying depending on a womans age we recommend that a couple comes in for an infertility evaluation. At that point, its more likely that theres a problem preventing pregnancy.
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Get To Know Your Cycle
How much do you know about your menstrual cycle? Really understanding helps you know when you’re most fertile, says Hillard.Ovulationis the best time to get pregnant. “This is the time to focus on having sex,” Hillard says.
It helps to become aware of the signs of ovulation, such as a change in your cervical mucus. It usually becomes thin and slippery when you are most fertile. Some women may also feel a one-sided twinge of pain.
Ovulation prediction kits can also help you predict the best time to get pregnant, says James Goldfarb, MD, director of the infertility service at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland. Not only can they help assure you that you are ovulating, “if you are having infrequent intercourse, this tells you when to have it to increase your chances of getting pregnant,” he says.
Here’s how it works: The first day of your menstrual period is considered day one. “Start testing on day nine and keep going until you get a positive,” advises Joanne Piscitelli, MD, an associate professor of gynecology at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C. Women with a 28-day cycle tend to ovulate on day 14. But many women have longer or shorter cycles, so casting a wide net can help you be sure.
Get A Preconception Checkup
Before you officially start trying, get a checkup. Ask your doctor aboutprenatal vitaminsthat havefolic acid, which helps protect against some birth defects, such asspina bifida. Folic acid works during the early stages of pregnancy, so that’s why it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough folic acid even before you get pregnant.
“Do this the cycle before you start trying,” says Paula Hillard, MD, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Stanford University. “If you have any underlying medical problems, they need to be under control before you can safely become pregnant.”
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Aim For A Healthy Weight
According to the Mayo Clinic, attaining a healthy weight before conception can help set you up for success, both improving your odds of getting pregnant fast and reducing your risk of certain complications. Obesity is associated with irregular ovulation, so it may take longer to conceive if your body mass index is 30 or higher.
Dont Underestimate Diet And Lifestyle Changes
Many fertility doctors and OBGYNs will tell you that a PCOS diagnosis means youll only ever be able to get pregnant with the help of fertility treatments. This couldnt be further from the truth.
Theres a huge amount of compelling evidence that shows for many women, the right lifestyle modifications may be all thats needed to achieve a healthy PCOS pregnancy 00505-6/fulltext” rel=”nofollow”> Karimzadeh et al. 201042). Even within the mainstream medical establishment, lifestyle modification is understood to be the best initial treatment tool for overweight PCOS women that are trying to conceive
Im a classic example of this after having fallen pregnant naturally despite years of previous unsuccessful fertility treatments. I was able to restore my period by changing my diet and lifestyle which then eventually helped me fulfill my dreams of motherhood without another trip to the fertility clinic. As the case studies Ive included throughout this article show, this isnt a rare event, and anyone can do it with the right information and support.
Modifying the way you eat, exercise, and manage stress has been shown to have a profound effect on PCOS and fertility. This is true regardless of whether youre trying naturally or you need a little extra help with fertility treatments.
Lets take a better look at the evidence:
Jamie Bietzell is another great example of the dramatic turn of events that are possible when putting the right dietary changes into practice.
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How To Get Pregnant Fast
Once youve made the big decision to start a family, its hard to wait. And while your patience may be waning, you can begin planning right away. Thats becauseas it turns outtheres more to getting pregnant fast than just having sex at the right time its also about creating the perfect environment so that when sperm meets egg, a healthy embryo grows into a healthy baby.
Conceiving quickly may be the goal, but its never a guarantee. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to help kick start the process. So if youre wondering how to get pregnant fast, read on for all the top dos and donts. From tracking ovulation to changing your diet, were sharing a few tips to help you on the exciting journey to parenthood.
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What Are The Different Ways I Can Get Pregnant
In order to get pregnant, sperm needs to fertilize an egg. Pregnancy officially starts when a fertilized egg attaches to the wall of your uterus, where it grows into a baby over 9 months. There are a few different ways this can happen.
The most common way people get pregnant is from vaginal sex when a person who has a penis ejaculates inside the other persons vagina. Sperm cells in semen swim up the vagina, through the cervix and uterus, and into the fallopian tubes. If theres an egg in the fallopian tube and it meets up with sperm, the fertilized egg moves down into the uterus. If the fertilized egg attaches to the wall of the uterus, pregnancy begins.
Its also possible to get pregnant from other kinds of sexual activity even if the penis doesnt ejaculate inside the vagina but this is way less common. If semen gets ON the vulva or near the vaginal opening, sperm cells can swim into the vagina and cause pregnancy. This can happen if semen drips or is wiped onto the vulva, or if someone touches your vulva or vagina with fingers or sex toys that have wet semen on them. Pre-ejaculate can also have a tiny bit of sperm in it, so pre-cum may cause pregnancy if it gets into the vagina.
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Having Sex During Your Fertile Time
If you’re happy to spend time tracking and detecting ovulation, then you can be sure to have sex during your most fertile time.
If sperm counts are normal or healthy, then it’s best to have sex every day that you:
- Have fertile cervical mucus
- Have a positive ovulation detecting test
- Have a positive saliva ferning test
If you chart your basal body temperature, you can know the approximate day you ovulated each monthbut only after the fact. In this case, you should have sex for the three days before you expect to ovulate and possibly on the day you expect to ovulate, too.
However, you should still have sex throughout your cycle, just to keep the sperm quality in tip-top shape. You should also aim to provide time to enjoy sex without a baby-making mission attached.
Irritability Or Mood Swings
You could feel oversensitive, grumpy, and tearful due to hormonal changes altering the levels of neurotransmitters or chemical messengers to the brain. This could result in heightened emotions, both positive and negative . But such feelings could be like your PMS symptoms and may not necessarily help in determining pregnancy.
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When Is The Best Time To Conceive
The best time to get pregnant is during the ovulation period, a period when a mature egg is released from the ovary. While sperm is able to survive for 48 to 72 hours after sex, the mature egg can only live for 12 to 24 hours after ovulation. This means that the female egg can only get fertilized 12-24 hours after it is released. Hence, to increase your chances of conception, it is best to have sex around 2-3 days before ovulation. This ensures that there is a healthy supply of sperm in the fallopian tube to fertilize the egg when it is finally released.
Predicting when your ovulation will happen can help immensely in conceiving your baby.
In the average 28-day menstruation cycle for any woman, ovulation happens only once and is generally around 14 days prior to the start of the next cycle. However, women with a 28-day menstruation cycle are in the minority, as most women have a menstruation cycle lasting between 24 and 35 days. As ovulation occurs 14 days before the last day of the cycle, or the day when you get your periods, it means that it could happen on day 10 for a woman with a 24-day menstruation cycle or on day 21 for a woman with a 35-day menstruation cycle.
Women with regular menstrual cycles can make use of devices such as the ovulation calculator to predict your ovulation time each month. Additionally, ovulation prediction kits that test your hormone levels throughout your menstruation period, will be able to determine which day you are likely to ovulate.
Why Getting Pregnant With Pcos Is So Hard
When I first started having trouble falling pregnant, I had no idea what I was dealing with and this made the problem a hundred times scarier. It now seems obvious that the first place I shouldve started is understanding the cause of my problem better.
Conception and gestation are the essential steps thatll take you from happy couple to a family of three. Unfortunately, women with PCOS face an uphill battle with both of these.
Before I address this further, I think its worth taking a minute to clarify that while PCOSs impact on fertility can be a function of what type of PCOS you have, from a solutions-based perspective, the distinction is without a difference.
The medical community describes four types of PCOS: Frank PCOS, Ovulatory PCOS, Normoandrogenic PCOS, and Non-polycystic ovary PCOS . Other common groupings separate thin-type or lean PCOS, from the more classical body shape that results from this disorder. While I can appreciate the need for the medical community to better define PCOS with these more precise groupings, in my experience theyre not overly helpful.
What is useful to know though is that all but the ovulatory type of PCOS are characterized by irregular or absent periods . Estimates put this at around 87% of the PCOS population, which means re-starting ovulation is key to most women with PCOS that want to have children.
So, if challenge number one, is getting a regular period, the next cab of the rank is producing a quality egg.
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How Does Pregnancy Start
Your cycle starts on the first day of your period and continues up to the first day of your next period.
This is what happens during the cycle and the start of a pregnancy.
- Eggs mature in your ovaries once a month.
- The lining of your womb starts to get thicker to prepare for fertilised eggs.
- Once the egg is mature it is released from one of the ovaries this is called ovulation.
- During ovulation your cervical mucus becomes thinner and clearer to help any sperm to swim to the egg.
- If you have sex, millions of sperm will swim up the cervix into the uterus and the fallopian tubes to meet a mature egg.
- If sperm is present at the point of ovulation, or during the next 24 hours, the egg may be fertilised .
- If the egg is fertilised, it starts to move towards the womb and divide into more cells.
- Once it reaches the womb the fertilised egg has to attach the lining of the womb, this is called implantation and is the start of pregnancy. Many fertilised eggs dont implant and are passed out of the body.
- If the egg has not been fertilised, the egg is re-absorbed by the body, the hormone levels drop, and the womb lining is shed the beginning of your next period.
Now that you know all about how to get pregnant, use our tool to find out if you are ready to conceive.
How To Get Pregnant Through Lifestyle Improvements
Both men and women wishing to achieve pregnancy can do things to help give them the best chance for success. These include practices men can follow to ensure the health and vitality of their sperm and things women can do to increase their reproductive functioning.
Maintaining a normal body mass index between 19 and 25 is essential for women trying to conceive. According to the American Pregnancy Association, being either underweight or overweight can affect fertility and the health of a pregnancy. Being obese or overweight can harm a mans sperm health.
Exercise can also help women maintain optimum health, which can have an impact on the chances of pregnancy. Moderate aerobic exercise can improve lung capacity and blood circulation. Weight lifting can help women lose weight and increase muscle strength.
A healthy, balanced diet can improve both mens and womens overall health. While there is little evidence that a specific type of diet can increase the chances of fertility, a diet of lean meats, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is beneficial for everyone. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends a supplement of 400 micrograms of folic acid each day for women trying to get pregnant.
Incorporating healthy choices into a lifestyle also involves removing those things that can negatively affect a persons health. Here are some habits to limit or stop:
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